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'UK aerospace suppliers need to be bullish', says manufacturing leader

2 mins read

In the dynamic realm of the world’s second largest aerospace economy, where challenge often accompanies opportunity, the UK aerospace industry is enjoying a resurgence after weathering the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this backdrop, Simon Weston, the managing director of ASG Group in Stockport, is leading the charge, advocating for a bullish approach and strategic investment to position UK aerospace and defence suppliers for future success.

The aerospace sector has historically been a cornerstone of the UK's industrial prowess, contributing significantly to the nation's economic growth and technological innovation. However, the pandemic-induced lull tested the resilience of the industry, exposing vulnerabilities in global supply chains and intensifying competition for skilled talent.

Simon Weston, a seasoned leader with a track record of steering ASG Group through these turbulent recent years, recognises the imperative for businesses to adopt a proactive stance. In a recent conversation, Weston emphasised the need for UK aerospace and defence suppliers to embrace a spirit of boldness and continue investing to stay ahead of the curve.

"The forecasted aerospace boom presents a golden opportunity for our industry to reclaim its position as a global leader," Weston asserted. "To seize this moment, we must be unyielding in our commitment to innovation, resilient in the face of supply chain disruptions, and strategic in acquiring and retaining top-tier talent.

"Such is the demand of continuing to serve exciting packages of work with world class customers. This is why we have added to the ASG family at the end of 2023 by bringing Produmax into the ASG Group to further grow our machining capabilities."

The pandemic-induced disruptions unearthed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, prompting a re-evaluation of traditional sourcing strategies. Weston suggests that diversification and strengthening of local supply chains are pivotal to mitigating risks associated with geopolitical uncertainties and sudden disruptions.

The ASG Group has been at the forefront of such initiatives, forging strategic partnerships and investing in cutting-edge technologies to enhance the resilience of its supply network through continued plant investment and acquisition.

However, the challenges extend beyond the supply chain. Access to skilled talent has become an increasingly pressing concern, as the industry experiences a surge in demand for specialised skills. With a keen eye on talent acquisition and retention, Weston underscores the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and development between organisations.

"We are not just competing with our industry peers for talent; we are competing with sectors that are equally hungry for the skills our industry demands," Weston noted. "Investing in training programs, fostering partnerships with educational institutions, and championing diversity in our workforce are essential steps to ensuring a robust pipeline of talent for the future."

As ASG Group charts its course in this new era of aerospace resurgence, Weston remains optimistic about the potential for growth. "The challenges are real, but so are the opportunities. It's about being bold, agile, and innovative in our approach. By doing so, we not only safeguard the future of our businesses but also contribute to the broader success of the UK aerospace and defence sector."

In the midst of uncertainty, one thing is clear – Simon Weston and ASG Group are leading by example, urging their counterparts in the industry to be bullish, invest strategically, and navigate the skies with confidence as the aerospace sector takes flight once again.

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